Surging offshore wind power boosts China’s green development

GUANGZHOU — After operating steadily for three months, an offshore wind farm in Shantou City, south China’s Guangdong Province, generated over 100 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity by March 29, according to the developer Datang Shantou New Energy Co., Ltd.

The Shantou Datang Lemen I offshore wind power project, with 35 wind turbines, is located near the Lemen Islands in Nan’ao County. It is the first offshore wind power project in eastern Guangdong that has been put into operation.

The total installed capacity of the project is 245,000 kilowatts, which is expected to generate 751 million kWh of electricity annually. In lieu of the common coal-fired power plant, it can save 240,000 tonnes of standard coal and reduce 450,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year.

Offshore wind power project in Guangdong.

China has announced its ambitious targets of peaking CO2 emissions before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060. To reach the goal, relentless efforts are made to expand the clean energy industry and adopt renewable energy as a substitute, which creates a broad market for wind power.

China’s newly installed capacity of grid-connected wind power reached 47.57 million kilowatts in 2021, with offshore wind power accounting for over one-third. The installed wind power capacity of China has exceeded 300 million kilowatts, and its installed offshore wind power capacity now ranks first in the world, according to the National Energy Administration of China.

Chinese authorities have released a plan for developing a modern energy system during the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), which stresses promoting wind power orderly in places with rich wind resources and good development conditions.

As an economic powerhouse, Guangdong Province plans to start the construction of offshore wind plants with a total installed capacity of 12 million kilowatts during this period, and put half of them into operation by the end of 2025.

Shantou City has established the Shantou Offshore Wind Power Industry Alliance, which groups 42 enterprises, including equipment suppliers and marine engineering enterprises.

Offshore wind power has witnessed a great leap in terms of both market and technology development, according to Lou Shujun, vice general manager of Datang Shantou New Energy Co., Ltd.

“There are rich wind resources in eastern Guangdong and Guangdong has a strong consumption ability for wind power,” said Lou. “We will keep upgrading technologies to improve utilization efficiency.”

China’s offshore wind power industry is now growing rapidly. A whole industry chain covering wind turbines, accessory equipment, offshore construction and operation has been formed.

Shanghai Electric Windpower Guangdong Co., Ltd. has invested over 1.5 billion yuan (about 236 million U.S. dollars) in its intelligent manufacturing base in Shantou for the production wind turbines.

“We will build a wind power equipment wharf and a home port for wind power in Shantou, to boost the transformation of China’s industrial structure and energy structure,” said Wang Quanjing, general manager of the company.

SourceQiushi Journal, 2022-04-06.